Two Azerbaijani canoeists will test their strength at the European senior sprint canoe championship to start in Zagreb, Croatia on Friday. A three-time world and European champion, Azerbaijan`s Olympic canoeing hopeful Valentin Demyanenko will compete in a canoe single 200 and 500 meters events.
Besides the championship, the 29-year-old is training hard for the Olympics. Another Azerbaijani rower 20-year-old Mirnazim Javadov will also test his strength at the championship.
Earlier, at the third stage of the World Cup in canoeing and kayak-paddling Javadov took the 9th place both at the 200 and 500 meters distance race.
The tournament is said to end on June 24.
The ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships are an international event in canoeing organised by the International Canoe Federation. The World Championships have taken place every year in non-Summer Olympic years since 1970. Prior to November 2008, canoe sprint was known as flatwater racing.
In Flatwater Racing sprint events, paddlers race on a straight course, each boat in a separate lane, over three different distances: 200 m, 500 m and 1000 m. In a kayak, the paddler is seated and uses a two-blade paddle, while in a canoe, the paddler is kneeling on one knee, and uses a single blade paddle. There are kayak events, for men and women, in single (K1), double (K2) and four boats (K4), and canoe events for men in single (C1), double (C2) and four boats (C4) and recently also for women in single boats.
This form of racing became an Olympic discipline in 1936 and its programme includes events over 200 m and 1000 m for men and 200 m and 500 m for women.
Except of sprint categories canoeists race also in long distances. At World Championships and European Championships these are 5000 m, only single boats are used. Long distances are also very popular for mass competitions, e.g. Sella Descent in Spain.